Common Data Compositions

Any security person will tell you that any information on a system is potentially dangerous.  Securing information is more difficult than just locking a door.  There are organizations that gather information about you and sell this information to the government.  This is legal because people don’t have an exclusive right to privacy (   The only way to keep information secure is to limit information generated.

Aggregated information that is composed from multiple sources can impact you and your family in many ways.  There are some websites that pull information in about you from multiple sources like

So, there are plenty of sites that reach out to multiple sources and compose your personal information.  I listed these as an example; I suggest you look yourself up.  This lends itself to a lot of other issues regarding information composition.  Information needs validation checkpoints, without validation the composed data as a view may be wrong.

Why is bad information a big deal?

While there are many reasons, I am only going to address one.    Not unlike a credit report, the information pulled from multiple sources is pulled into a dashboard report or recomposed to be pulled from another service.   The information is used by agencies including credit reporting companies.  Now let’s say your name is George Daily, one of the sites has you aliased as George Daly or Georgie Daily.   George Daly is a person who has a very serious problem with credit and his name is mapped to your name because of the alias.  When the credit agency pulls your record, pieces of the Daly credit history get pulled into the report.   You do have a remedy, you can dispute every wrong entry but with aggregated data it can take a very long time to deal with this kind of common issue.  If you are looking to do something with your house, buy a car or simply take advantage of a 10% deal at Home Depot, you won’t be able to until you resolve this.   Once again, there are many reasons that this can be a problem, my suggestion is to search for your name and find the composed datasets looking for linkages to the original sources.  Once you find them, make sure that the information is taken down or at the very minimum fixed to reflect the truth.  Also,  check your credit reports at least once a year.


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Article from Defense Systems on Cloud

I read today in the Defense Systems that the CIO Teri Takai is wary of cloud migration with current tech. She makes some very good points except she forgot to mention that her office really can’t stop programs from adopting cloud solutions. It is here, now what do you do? Just saying "It is too hard" isn’t going to be enough. I wish the interview would have asked questions that were more than softballs. volume 5, number 4

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But you forgot the SOA..

Recently I have been in contact with friends who are technical evangelists.  We have been writing emails and sharing ideas over great distances.   While some of my friends are international and others are American I find it amazing that we deal with the same problems fundamentally.

What are the problems?   The first I would call the Digital Divide (not immigrant) which is within the technology community itself.   In the context of SOA developers generally write to solve a problem.   They can solve this problem in a number of ways but they write to solve them in their own artistic way.   They may solve or deal with symptoms but they are not dealing necessarily with “the problem.”   The divide is between developers, users, managers, strategists, practitioners, and leadership.  Notice, I intentionally separated leadership from management.

It is common for leadership to have a vision that they themselves cannot possibly make happen on their own.   It is common for this vision to change as it starts its path down through the organization word to mouth.  Example “He doesn’t understand what he is asking for so we will do X.”

It is common for managers to still in this day and age create stovepipes.

It is common for strategists and practitioners to work hard to bring together the ideas of leadership and the power of management.

It is common for the develops and system integrators to have to build solutions regardless of this situation.

This is why we forget about SOA.  We have moved past it because it is something different in the eyes of each representative player.   I wouldn’t say it is dead, I would say it is largely ignored.

I work with and for some brilliant strategists that understand that people, process, methods are key to the usage and application of tools.  They understand the old basic who, what, where, how and why and they know that networks and systems require thought and engineering.  They understand this and their voices are not heard.   So, I find it interesting now looking over the landscape and talking to my friends globally hearing the same stories.

As we continue to make technical strides if we ignore the voices of the innovators the chasm of our divide will continue to grow.  It will be more of us and them and we will hear more of “they don’t get it.”

The second problem is the culture of me.   I read the newspaper today and wondered why we have an opinion section.  If I want an opinion on something I have Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, Linkedin, Quorum, and more blogs than I can possibly read in a day.    It is opinion unlimited (even mine), but what we lack in is fact or constructive communication.   We have more ways to talk or write past people than ever.  Today in some case we talk to and about people in ways that are very insensitive.  We don’t take into account how people feel and we aren’t mindful that feelings matter.  We present our position or opinion as matter of fact and we forget that the pen or in this case the keyboard can be mightier than the sword.

If you are reading this right now, you are aware that you are on my blog.  By the very nature of this you are reading my opinion.    I strongly believe the way to solve our technical and even non-technical problems today is with strong effective leadership that follows the basics that we teach our children.

  • Leaders know what they need and want for the long term, understanding the big picture and where the people and the technology fits in.  This does not require an in-depth understanding of the technology from the developer’s view.
  • Leaders share the vision and find ways to build trust.
  • Managers listen, understand and feedback to leadership.  Managers work hard and understand they can be and should be leaders.
  • Everyone should understand what functions they are to perform and should have the freedom to innovate and feedback improvements with the understanding that the functions still need be performed now.
  • Leaders are coaches not dictators or bad guys.  Most leaders aren’t born they are bred, they need to coach and communicate.
  • Teams needs to learn and focus first on effective and constructive communication.
  • Individuals need to learn to focus on effective and constructive communication.
  • Everyone will make sacrifices. (Even Bill Gates makes sacrifices).
  • Everyone should understand and recognize the value in working together and understanding the big picture.
  • Remember what Service Oriented Architectures and Cloud computing strategies are for.
There are many books written about this but the only people benefiting from these books are the people reading them.  These are the same people who are responsible to be thought leaders and innovators, communicators and collaborators, coaches and evangelists.   If you are still reading, this is most likely you.  It is your job to help and your job to find ways to bring people together no matter what role you are in.  We need to close the gap on the digital divide and we should work to educate and challenge everyone to do the same.
How does this have anything to do really with SOA?
We have services to enable data, we have data to enable knowledge transfer, we have knowledge transfer to help people.   Services are for people.  If we forget why we do the things we do, we won’t accomplish our original intent.

Duh Winning the Lotto

Someone said to me today that I wouldn’t be in my job if I won the lottery. Well, I told him that he is right. I wouldn’t be here where I work in Gener-America where I can go from cube to cube and find a familiar story. I wouldn’t be here fighting to help people and do what I believe is right. I would help people more than I can help them now. I haven’t forgotten about the little boy with (skippy sneakers) from Alexanders or the high water pants, the government cheese and honey. It is a scar that is hidden deep but drives my passion. I haven’t forgotten what it feels like to lose everything and wonder what I was going to do next. I haven’t forgotten about my friends who have passed or even the ones that I lost simply because we didn’t stay in contact. Today I was the last person in the office; it isn’t because I don’t have a place to be. I am tired, and I am catching up with work that I have had to do because some other people allow their desire for power to get in the way of work. There are so many things to be frustrated about here but there is so much opportunity to do good things. So, he was right, I may not stay if I ever win the lottery that I don’t play. At the same time, I did win by chance, luck and help an opportunity to help people one person at a time. It is this opportunity that we need to take advantage of and stop worrying about what we can’t do, but focus on what we can do. Results will vary but there wasn’t any outcome stamped on your ass when you came out into this world. It is the choices we make that help influence our outcome. It is the connection between people that is most important; it is what we spend so much time on. We try to find ways to express ideas, and connect electronically while we physically push people away. Our story doesn’t have to be generic and common, it can be a story of the best anonymous person or people you have ever known. It can be .. you choose.

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Starting to investigate building  and/or modifying an old gas burning vehicle and turning it into an electric vehicle.   There are plenty of links and information out there, it is just a matter of reading and turning the idea into an activity.  The only way to make a difference is to take action.

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IT Hierarchy.. it makes sense..